War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0641 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., December 3, 1863.

Colonel P. A. PORTER,

Commanding Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md.:

COLONEL: By direction of the Secretary of War you will prohibit all trading by prisoners of war with the sutler at Fort McHenry.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

(Same mutatis mutandis, to commanding officers Forts Lafayette and Warren.)

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,

Alexandria, December 3, 1863.

Major General W. B. FRANKLIN,

Commanding U. S. Forces in Western Louisiana:

GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 2nd instant I have to state that, while I believe I have no prisoners form your command belonging to negro organizations, the expression contained in your letter of the 29th ultimo, requiring as a condition precedent that I should agree to "the exchange without regard to the regiment or corps to which the prisoners belong," rendered it necessary that I should distinctly inform you that I was precluded by the instructions of my Government from acceding to a proposition which would embrace that class of persons, otherwise I would clearly have committed by self to a policy, or at least to its recognition, in violation of positive instructions.

My inability to provide for the prisoners in my hands in such manner as I desire, and y anxiety to alleviate their condition by restoring them to their Government if satisfactory arrangements could be agreed upon between u, induced me to address you on the subject of their exchange.

I know that you have the means, and I do not doubt your inclination, to extend to the prisoners in your hands all the comforts and attentions to which the usages of war entitle them.

I am willing at all times to exchange with you, with the exception heretofore noted, officer for officer, and enlisted man for enlisted man, such point or points as we may agree upon.

The clothing and other necessary articles of comfort which you intend for the prisoners will be delivered to them. If you desire to send one of your officers for the purpose of distributing the clothing and money, permission will be granted to him to visit the officers, prisoners, for that purpose.

I take occasion to inform you that orders of the C. S. War Department prevent the Treasury notes of the United States from being delivered to action by prisoners.

Gold and silver, notes of any bank chartered by the Legislature of Louisiana, and C. S. Treasury notes may be sent to these officers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. TAYLOR,

Major-General, Commanding.

41 R R-SERIES II, VOL VI